6 Short Break Ideas for Children

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6 Short Break Ideas for Children

Everyone needs a holiday to get away every now and then, but when money or time is scarce, a short break is a great way to break up the monotony of everyday life. Taking a short break with children in tow is a great opportunity to expose them to new experiences. There are abundant opportunities for this, with the U.K. being just a stone's throw away from mainland Europe.

When it comes to deciding where to go for a short break, choosing a destination often depends on the age of the child. There is plenty to do in the Lake District, no matter how old the children are, and many hotels and restaurants offer family-friendly amenities and facilities.

If parents want to see vast open spaces with rolling hills and deep valleys that are all within easy reach of bustling cultural centres, they should take their children to Scotland. Wales is a great destination for a short break, especially if a family with children is travelling on a budget. Wales offers visitors a diverse array of activities for toddlers, teens, and everyone in between. With continental Europe just across the English Channel, families can take planes, ferries, or trains through the Chunnel, depending on time and budget. With so many destinations to choose from, a family is sure to find a holiday spot to delight every member, regardless of age.

1. Lake District

No matter what time of year, the Lake District in Cumbria is an idyllic place to bring children of all ages. Windermere is England's largest lake, It is popular with watersports enthusiasts of all ages. Families can take to the water and sail, row, canoe, and even windsurf. In the summer months when the water is warmer, many take to diving the lakes in the Lake District. Families who prefer to stay on land can hike and camp some of the most picturesque landscapes the U.K. has to offer. Villages are full of different styles of lodging. These range from rental homes to lofts to luxury hotels. The Lake District has accommodations to fit every family and every budget.

2. British Beaches

Taking a short break to the coast is always a favourite with families during the summer months. Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of England's most popular beaches and is located in Lancashire. This beach has a world famous amusement park that offers rides for thrill seekers of any age. Typical beach activities include lounging on the beach and playing in the water, but the big draw is the abundance of rides and activities. Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of the U.K.'s most celebrated holiday destinations for families. Few people would associate an English beach with palm trees, but at Torbay in Devon, also known as as the English Riviera, the beach has a notable Mediterranean atmosphere, complete with palm trees. West Wittering Beach is a broad, sandy beach in West Sussex that makes the perfect location for beach picnics.

3. Zoos and Wildlife Preserves

Every childhood at one time or another included at least one trip to the zoo. For toddlers and young children, there is no better place to enjoy an outdoor excursion than at the zoo, and zoos typically have wide walkways perfect for prams. The Chester Zoo, located in Cheshire, has over 400 species of animals living in this 100-acre facility. This zoo takes great pride in its extensive collection of rare and endangered species and has been described as one of the 15 best zoos in the world. Parents should remember to pack lots of sunscreen and protective clothing if the sun is out, since the whole family is likely to spend the majority of the day outside.

4. Scotland

There are myriad reasons for visiting Scotland. From its breathtaking landscapes to world-famous museums and art galleries, families have a variety of short break options to choose from. Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh boast a variety of activities for the whole family. If the family is looking to get away from urban areas and enjoy a slower paced retreat, then they should venture out into Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

5. Wales

Wales is a favourite short break destination for families with children of all ages. Parents can find modestly priced hotel rooms in towns, at the shore, or at the countryside. If the family has young children in tow, then Gower in the southwest is a good choice. Along the shore, there are shipwrecks to see and tidepools to play in. This area is like a breath of fresh air and is a refreshing contrast to fast-paced cities. Older kids might enjoy seeing the big cities and taking in cultural landmarks such as Caerphilly, Bodelwyddan, and Crow castles. The Cardiff Summer Festival is a fun time to visit, and travellers can see street theater and shop at local food markets during the festival.

6. Across the Channel

The English Channel separates the U.K. from the rest of continental Europe, and travel between the two has never been easier. If taking a short break with kids, taking the train through the Chunnel or taking a flight are the best options. The sky's the limit as far as family-friendly options is concerned. Paris is an easy destination to reach and this cultural capital offers an array of activities and attractions. Parents should account for travel times as this can eat into a short break, especially if the break only allows for a couple days. A plane flight is often the quickest option.

What to Pack When Going on a Short Break With Children

Deciding where to take children on a short break is only part of the planning process. Parents must also consider what to pack when taking a holiday. When choosing what goes in the suitcase, there are several factors to account for. The first is the child's age. Small children may need something to entertain them when travelling such as a portable DVD player . Snacks are always a good thing to have handy when travelling with children of any age. Parents should make sure their children have the right clothes for the season and activities. The chart below has some helpful suggestion of what to bring when taking a short break with children.

Type of Short Break

Basic Essentials to Bring


Comfortable walking shoes, pram, snacks and water, maps, rain gear


Hiking boots or appropriate footwear, seasonal and activity clothing, rain gear


Swimming costumes, towels, sunscreen, hat, sandals


Hiking boots or other sturdy shoes, rain gear, jackets, sunscreen and hat if outdoors

Regardless of where parents take their children on short breaks, they should always choose clothes based on the weather and type of activities. Parents are encouraged to pack layered outfits for everyone in the family. If taking a short break in winter, kids should be bundled up in jackets when venturing outside. If taking the family to a museum or other indoor attraction on a cold day, dressing in layers is ideal since the interior is most likely climate controlled.

How to Shop for Short Break Supplies on eBay

Once you have decided where you are taking your family on short break and made a list of necessary supplies, go to the eBay site as a one stop shop for everything you need. To begin your search, simply type in what you are looking for into the search bar. Adding in a few keywords in with your search term should help you focus your results. For example, if your short break is to a cultural city and you want to be able to carry your baby while sightseeing, you may be looking for a new baby carrier. To find listings for this item on eBay, simply enter ' baby carrier backpack' into the search field. For a more specific query enter a brand name or a description of a particular feature. You can also shop for short break travel packages by entering a description into the search field. For example, if you are looking for a short break in the Lake District, enter a query like 'weekend in the Lake District'.


When a full-scale holiday is not possible, consider taking a short break with your children and family. From historical cities to quiet retreats to the ocean, Wales to France, U.K. residents have a variety of options to consider. The first decisions parents must make is how long they should be gone and what their budget is. It is imperative to factor in the cost of travel, so airline, train, and ferry tickets, as well as petrol costs should be included when planning a short break.

Travellers who need to watch what they spend should choose a destination with free or inexpensive activities. The countryside is a great place to let children of all ages explore and gain some independence. Tweens and teens are at the age where they can appreciate the cultural experiences that big cities offer. No matter where parents take children on short breaks, they should prepare themselves for bringing all the necessary gear to ensure their holiday is free of hassles and worry..

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